Whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned entrepreneur, there are always fresh things to be learned. These six business books – all of which were shortlisted for the coveted 2021 Business Book of the Year – will keep you inspired, focused, and alert to the next challenge.
Ash Ali and Hassan Kubba are the winners – The Unfair Advantage.
Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba, co-authors of this year’s award-winning business book of the year, met years ago at a business dinner and instantly became friends. Ali, who was a huge success as Just Eat’s first marketing director, focused his efforts on angel investment. Kubba resolved to accompany him and observe the business presentations whenever he could.
“During pitches, I used to question these folks, ‘What is your unfair advantage?'” Ali explains. “The most successful entrepreneurs understand their unfair advantages and how to use them.”
The book’s ideology, which identifies weaknesses in the hustle and hard work culture, promotes self-awareness and contemplation to maximise business and entrepreneurial potential.
“Our book is not prescriptive,” Ali explains, referring to his frustration with self-help books that “always tell you what to do.” Rather than that, The Unfair Advantage invites readers to identify their “unique benefits” to a company or team.
The two are particularly interested in debunking the widespread belief that “in business, you have to be a good all-rounder,” as Kubba puts it. Rather than that, he believes, understanding one’s skills and shortcomings and recognising the “leverage that can be gained by working in a team is the key to better success.”
The most interesting aspect of British innovation and industry, according to Ali, is that “you can learn whatever you want.” Any astute entrepreneur brimming with vitality, excitement, and self-awareness, he asserts, will never be “pigeonholed,” adding that “the sole barrier to admission is your thinking.”
While entrepreneurship may provide substantial benefits and a meaningful job, Ali notes that it also has an “evil side.” Managing rejection, stress, and loneliness may be difficult, and he adds, much more so “when others don’t believe in you.” Ali and Kubba prefer “connecting the connections and bringing people together” to alleviate the burden of duty.
Carl Reader – Boss It
This one is for individuals who wish to quit their 9-5 jobs and become their boss. The practical book, written by serial entrepreneur Carl Reader, includes step-by-step instructions and advice on getting started. Reader, who left school to pursue a career as an apprentice hairdresser but ended up in accounting, is on a quest to demystify business and reduce intricacies into language that anybody and everyone can understand and participate in.
The book itself is intended to cut through business jargon and serve as a helpful reference for people interested in starting their businesses. The course covers topics such as transforming a fantasy concept into a business plan and the reality of operating and expanding a firm. Boss, guides readers through case studies, templates, and activities that will assist them in developing practical strategies for reclaiming control of their income and becoming their boss.
James Church – Investable Entrepreneur
According to James Church, author of our next must-read business book, inadequate communication has been the demise of far too many company concepts. To offer a firm the greatest chance of receiving funding, investors must understand the company’s operations. Clarity is critical in the art of investment pitching, and Church walks entrepreneurs through the “Six Principles of the Perfect Pitch” in the book.
The church is the COO and co-founder of Robot Mascot, a major pitch agency in the United Kingdom. He has spent much time researching with investors to ascertain their objectives. Church also teaches masterclasses for the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has facilitated mentorship sessions at Tech Hub, Google Campus, and Runway East.
Investor Ready – Julie Barber
Another one for venture-capital-starved start-ups. This book walks readers through the critical processes necessary to get your business in the best possible condition and ready to pitch for investment. Author Julie Barber outlines the six stages necessary to impress investors and assist start-ups in communicating their vision, establishing a good structure and scalability, and demonstrating market impact. Additionally, Barber’s book illustrates how to present investors with company figures that instil trust, how to establish an investor profile, and how to craft an unbeatable pitch.
Barber’s enthusiasm for start-ups also pervades her day job. As CEO of Spark! Consulting, she has worked in business innovation for more than two decades and is enthusiastic about promoting economic development and interest in the start-up ecosystem. Barber assists early-stage enterprises in preparing for investment and helps build healthy organisations that can withstand the test of time and the winds of change.
Fiona Thomas – Out of Office
For all your freelancing needs: Fiona Thomas’ no-nonsense guide to working for yourself and making the most of your time and life. The book discusses how to generate an invoice, file a tax return, claim expenses, create a network, and the advantages of working from home.
Fiona Thomas currently makes her career as a writer but previously held managerial positions until a mental breakdown in her mid-twenties convinced her that something needed to change. Thomas is a prolific writer on mental health, with stories appearing in Reader’s Digest, Grazia, and Metro. Out of Office is her second book, after the publication of Depression in a Digital Age in 2018. She is passionate about assisting people in discovering their love of writing and has featured on Stylist Live and Radio 5.
Alexander Nicolaus – Start Up Culture
Due to the ups and downs of startup life, many organisations find it difficult to cultivate a pleasant work culture. Nonethe
less, cultivating a culture of focus and cooperation is critical for attracting, retaining, and developing the finest employees. Nicolaus’ book attempts to assist founders and management teams in establishing the work culture necessary for a start-up to succeed in unpredictable and disruptive times.
Nicolaus, originally from Germany but was reared in France and had an education in the United Kingdom, has spent most of his career working with teams in Europe, China, and across Asia. He has spent most of his career focusing on growing high-performing teams, boosting employee experience, and creating creative personnel strategies for businesses.